Updated 6:40pm -- SYRACUSE -- Longtime local talk radio host Jim Reith, whose 27-year run on WSYR AM/FM suddenly ended last October during a nationwide round of Clear Channel layoffs, will soon return to local airwaves. He'll host a daily 30-minute live talk show on WCNY-TV starting next month, and a three-hour daily radio show is slated to debut this fall.
Thanks to the internet, fans won't have to wait that long to interact with Reith: a new blog at www.wcny.org/reith launched today, and on April 23 -- three weeks from today -- he'll begin producing podcasts for the web site.
"WCNY is a local multi-media company and we're committed to bringing Jim's talents and expertise to our viewers and listeners through all of our media platforms," said Robert J. Daino, WCNY's President and CEO, in a press release issued today. "We're also Central New York's public broadcasting station, and we believe the public deserves a voice like Jim's that knows the local landscape and the issues that most affect people's lives."
According to a press release from WCNY, the TV show, tentatively titled "Reith," will debut on Monday, May 14. The program will air weeknights at 6:30pm.
"We're going to have fun with it," Reith said in the WCNY announcement. "I would love to make the show a place where people can, in a variety of ways, hang out for a half hour and get informed about local issues and interact with the show through social media."
Although Reith told the Post-Standard's Bob Neidt today he has no hard feelings against WSYR or Clear Channel, a quote on the WCNY website -- "it takes living in the community to know the community" -- seems to take a jab at the fact new WSYR afternoon host Bob Lonsberry hosts his afternoon gabfest from a studio in Rochester. (Lonsberry also hosts a show for that city's WHAM prior to the WSYR show each weekday.)
Even though Reith's 6:30pm TV timeslot won't compete directly with Lonsberry, whose show ends at 6pm, Reith is stressing the "local" angle, using that word four times in the first paragraph of his inaugural blog post. He goes on to say there's been discussion about possibly admitting a live studio audience for the TV show, once WCNY completes its move to brand new studio facilities on Syracuse's Near Westside this fall.
Fans will have to wait a bit longer -- and possibly make more of an effort -- to tune-in for Reith's return to the radio. Because a talk program doesn't really fit in with WCNY's "Classic FM" format, Reith's talk show will be offered on WCNY-HD3. That means fans will need to invest in an HDRadio receiver, or listen to the show online at wcny.org.
As of right now, WCNY hasn't announced a timeslot or an exact start date for the radio program.
Thanks to Matt Michael from WCNY for including firstname.lastname@example.org on his press release distribution list. We appreciate it, and if you're in management or PR at any local radio or TV operation, we hope you'll do the same (if you haven't already done so).